Seema Malhotra MP has condemned the government’s Bill to take unprecedented powers over English law as part of a “Dog’s Brexit.”
Seema’s speech concentrated on the first clause of the Bill, which allow a Minister to appoint the day when the UK leaves the European Union without any reference to Parliament.
There is no need for Parliament to be cut out of that decision. If our talks with the EU produce a deal, it will need to be approved by the other member states and the European Parliament before the cut-off date of March 2019. So there will be ample time for Parliament to choose to accept it, and consequently for the UK to see the repeal of the 1972 Act on what most assume will be exit day—29 March 2019. But if our talks with the EU break down, it must be for Parliament and not Ministers to determine our response. Parliament may decide to repeal the 1972 Act anyway, or it may say that no deal will have calamitous consequences—crashing over the cliff is a long way from the sunlit uplands promised to the electorate.